Coastal development pressure on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
The Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem (and therefore its outstanding universal value) remains vulnerable to the effects of past, current and future coastal development, as well as cumulative impacts.
The Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem remains vulnerable to the effects of past, current and future coastal development, as well as cumulative impacts.
Modifying coastal ecosystems for coastal development limits their ability to provide ecosystem function and services that support the Reef’s values.
Although there has been minimal expansion of urban and industrial development within the Great Barrier Reef catchment since 2014, the impact of past development remains high and continues to affect Reef health. Agriculture is the main pollutant source affecting the condition of the inshore marine ecosystem, via land-based run-off from the catchment. Barriers to flow, such as tidal barrages and tidal works, have historically been installed to prevent the ingress of saline tidal waters and often to provide road access to the foreshore.
Poor water quality, coupled with climate change impacts, natural processes and encroaching coastal development (ports, marinas, and revetment walls) will place pressure on inshore and coastal natural and Indigenous heritage values.
- Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2019, and references therein
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets
Coastal development pressure on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area as reported in the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2019.